Celler La Perla del Priorat, I Waited For You in DOQ Priorat

379/365 – Catalonia – DOQ Priorat – El Molar– La Perla del Priorat – Noster 2005

I Waited For You………,

Noster2005frontcutflatNoster 2005, 55% Garnacha and 45%  Cariñena

Intense cherry red in colour, with garnet nuances. Notes of red fruits evolving to jam fruits, plums and figs, chocolate and vanilla. Great aromatic complexity with perfect balance between varietal aromas like candied fruit, licorice and from the aging; coffee, cocoa and a touch of balsamic. Very nice volume in the mouth, glyceric, with persitant and round tannins. The palate is round with gentle tannins leading to a broad aftertaste with fruity notes. A very elegant wine with personality. Suitable for pairing with game, grilled meats, cured cheese. 50% of the assembly goes through french oak barrels for 12 months. The other half remains in stainless steel tanks in order to keep some freshness in the wine. After 12 months, the two varieties are assembled. In this blend, one half will express the complexity and elegance of an oak aged wine and the other half will provide the fruitiness and freshness of a “fruit forward” wine.

In the past few years, so very much has changed in the region of Priorat, with regards to the wine making philosophies, the knowledge influxes, the multitude of wine styles and the economy. Economy, unfortunately, plays a huge role in every aspect of wine making. Should we be looking at it from the aspect of art, there would be subsidies from the department of culture and/or art, for the sake of making wine without having to be concerned with the figures. Is wine art?

Abstract Wine Art By Fidostudio Painting

Change is constant and necessary but what if wine makers were free to do what ever they wanted to? What would the wine be like then? Some do just that, without giving the financial aspects another thought, brave people, conquer or die! Some have been forced to add younger wines to the market, making them their money cow and reducing the number of bottle of their higher quality wines. One of the cellars in the Priorat, that haven’t changed their focus is La Perla del Priorat, and what a winery this is!

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La Perla Del Priorat’s vineyard is composed of 70’000 vines planted on 22 hectares. It is located just outside the south-west wall of the “Mas Dels Frares”, on a very particular hill. The stone soil of that hill is called “Llicorella” (porous schist rich in iron, typical of the Priorat). The density of “llicorella” is not the same on every side of this hill, as there is more clay on the north side than on the south side.

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This particular hill was chosen by the monks of Scala Dei who wanted to grow a vast vineyard in the south of Priorat. In the 12th century, after establishing their capital in the village of Scala Dei (situated 28 km to the north), a group of monks were sent here to build the “Mas Dels Frares” and grow vines, olive trees, almond trees, and produced fruits and vegetables in order to provide wine and food to the capital of Priorat. Because of the quality of the fruits that were grown here, the monks and people of Priorat renamed this land “La Perla Del Priorat”. The first written proof of this name goes back to the 18th century.

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In 1998, Yves Pirenne, owner of the “Mas Dels Frares” and 102 hectares of land (including the hill called “La Perla Del Priorat”) decided to replant this vineyard that had vanished about 100 years before. Back to life, the vineyard counts today 70’000 vines of 5 main varieties, and it remains on the hill chosen by the monks five centuries earlier and renamed the “Pearl” of Priorat for at least three centuries. La Perla Del Priorat is one of Priorat’s oldest wineries. Founded in the 15th century by the carthusian monks of Scala Dei under the name of “Mas Dels Frares” (House of the Friars), it used to be an important monastery of Priorat.

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It was surrounded by a huge vineyard (up to 90’000 vines). As the fame of the wines blended in the “Mas Dels Frares” grew quickly, it was named “La Perla Del Priorat” since the beginning of the 18th century. On the eve of the 20th century, the land of Mas Dels Frares was abondonned by the monks. In the whole region, farmers stopped working on their lands and left to work in the silver mines. It was the end of regional traditional farming, and the beginning of the industrial era.

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Almost one hundred years later, Count Pirenne bought the Mas Dels Frares along with more than 100 hectares of land around it. All of this land is situated within the Priorat. Convinced of the potential of this particular area of Priorat, he founded the winery “La Perla Del Priorat SL” in 1998. The same year, 70’000 vines were planted on 22 hectares of the lands of Mas Dels Frares. About 1’000 vines of 25 year old Cabernet Sauvignon were allready there.

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La Perla Del Priorat SL blended its first wines in 1999 from grapes that were bought from selected old vines of Priorat. Then, only 10’000 bottles of “Comte Pirenne” and “Clos Les Fites” were produced. Today, with a 10 year old vineyard in full production, La Perla Del Priorat SL limits it’s production to maximise the quality of it’s four wines (“Comte Pirenne”, Clos Les Fites”, “Clos Les Fites Blanc” and “Noster”). Grapes from very old Grenache and Cariñena vines are still bought outside the property to blend “Comte Pirenne”.

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The philosophy of La Perla Del Priorat SL is based on two principles: respect and quality. The respect aims the local tradition of winemaking, the environment, and the human beings. Making quality wines is their way to respect the history of “La Perla Del Priorat” as well as their customers. The fact that the vineyards are not irrigated serves both ecology and quality: each vine produces a maximal average of 1.1 kg of excellent quality grapes with high mineral and sugar levels, and no water is spoiled in the process.

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To limit the production and optimize the quality of the wines, during July they do what is called a “verema verda” (“green harvest”). By removing between 30 and 50% of the grapes off each vine, they manage to concentrate the vine’s energy on the few grapes that are left for a perfect maturation. Doing this, they also reduce the vine’s “stress” due to the exceedingly hot summer and enable the plant to regenerate and stabilise it’s production year after year.

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Pruning and harvest are entirely done by hand. When harvesting, every grape is controlled twice: once in the field, and once on the “table of selection” in the cellar. Only the grapes that succeed are vinified. The Priorat is one of the driest regions of Spain. The average rainfall is 300 mm per year. With no irrigation, the vines are obliged to seek for water deep into the stone soil, especially during the summer.

Comte Pirenne Selección 2000, La Perla del Priorat

The soil is called “Llicorella”. This typical mineral soil of Priorat is composed of layers of porous schist that are very rich in iron. It makes no obstacle to the penetration of the vine’s roots, thus enabeling the plant to find humidity tens of meters underground. In these conditions the vines have a very limited production of grapes: about 1.1 kg per vine.

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The north-east dry wind coming from the center of Spain provides great benefits for the maturity of the grapes. It prevents all diseases that could affect the grapes in a humid environment, especially during the harvest. Therefore, they are able to avoid unnecessary chemical treatments on the vines.

6 to go!

Catalan Wine 365 and SweetEasy Wine Tours

Maius Viticultors, What’s New in DOQ Priorat

378/365 – Catalonia – DOQ Priorat – La Morera de Montsant – Maius Viticultors – Maius Assemblage 2011

What’s New………,

maius11_174x241Maius Assemblage 2011, 65% Garnacha, 20% Cariñena and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon

Brilliant surface, a cherry red color with violet tones. Clean, bright, intense with high layer. The smell of ripe red fruit stands out together with the subtlety of wood, spices and toast. Aromas of high intensity. Stresses intense red and black fruit juice, light floral notes, spicy aromas, subtle and refreshing balsamic feel. The wine provides an elegant entry, following a challenge with volume, it presents a journey marked by spectacular soft and fleshy taste. It is a concentrated red wine, fleshy, subtle and elegant. Long, fruity and persistent finish. A must buy wine, especially when it comes to price, quality and pleasure!

The grapes were harvested by hand and brought into the winery in small cases of 15 kilograms. The Garnacha grapes were harvested during the first week of October, the Cariñena and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes were harvested during the second week of October. After crushing and destemming, the grapes were placed in stainless steel deposits for pre-fermentation at 14 degrees Celsius for 3 days to accentuate the aromatic expression before proceeding to the fermentation. The alcoholic fermentation took place at a temperature of maximum 26 degrees Celsius. The bleeding of the partially fermented must took place after aproximately 10 days. A good maceration permitted to extract a good dosis of tannin structure as well as anthocyanins. The wine received daily pigeage plus two remountings using a pump. About 20% of the wine was aged for 8 months in wooden barrels and then mixed with the other 80% of the wine. Subsequent aging in stainless steel deposits before bottling.

Maius ViticultorsThe winery of Maius Viticultors is located at the site called “Barranc de la Bruixa” which means Cliff of the Witch, in the municipality of La Morera de Montsant in the DOQ Priorat. The property is south oriented, the soil is a mixture of calcareous stone, gravel, rocks and of course licorella. The vineyard is composed by low yielding old vines, narrow trunks and elevated circus which need less irrigation and gives a very special character to the wine. In the very middle of the location lays the cellar, integrated in the environment, working with solar energy and rainwater. 85% of the property is underground so this helps to stabilize the interior temperature, keeping it at 15º. The wooden doors, concrete walls and flat cover made of stone, are all materials that will age nicely and they are fully integrated in the landscape.

7 to go!

Catalan Wine 365 and SweetEasy Wine Tours

Mas Doix, This Is The Life in DOQ Priorat

377/365 – Catalonia – DOQ Priorat – Poboleda – Celler Mas Doix – Salanques 2006

This Is The Life……..,

md_331706_535aaa5d7a8112b2394740a4b0d16210Salanques 2006, 65% Garnacha, 20% Cariñena, remaining 15% is a mix of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot

Cherry red color with garnet rim and dense tears that stains the glass. Medium-high layers. Delicate aromas of red fruit, cherries, spices, licorella and pepper. As secondary there was toast, dairy notes, some licorice and balsamic. Marked minerality and hints of herbs with a background of black fruit. The palate has a fresh entry with good body, silky tannins, good acidity and a fairly persistent aftertaste with hints of fruit jam and minerality. WOW, what a delicious wine!

Heaven, I’m in heaven……, how can I not be, true enough that wine is not always wine but sometimes, like today, it is so much more. When it chooses to transmit a feeling that elevates you to heaven, you know it’s something above a red colored beverage, made from grapes!

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But the again, who brings pizza to a wine tasting? I’ll tell you who and let me rewrite that, not pizza, Catalan coca! Something different, offering delicious produces on a owen baked dough. Pizza? Call it what you wish, I want more! Valenti Llagostera, wine maker and owner of Mas Doix starts us of with the wine tasting of the younger wines together with coca. He is slightly late as he had to stop at the local coca-place to pick up the two versions of coca, available this day.

Valenti and two friends in the vineyards, the Montsant mountain in the background!

After a well needed breakfast intake of, wine and coca we continue to the vineyards, which are amongst the oldest in the Priorat. When in Rome….

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Later, we would continue to try the aged reds at a local restaurant, Porta del Priorat, just outside the village of Poboleda, to enjoy hearty stews as that is what’s considered to accompany the wines best. And the Coca (pizza), yes I will have that again and yes it works well with the wine!

The barrel room at Mas Doix!

Five generations of the owners’ family have had ties with viticulture and wine making, Mas Doix is not the new kid on the block! But it was only in 1998 that Josep María Doix and his cousins, Ramón and Valentí Llagostera, decided to create the bodega while harvesting grapes in centuries-old vineyards.

The wine graveyard at Mas Doix, all the vintages produced. Have to come back one dark night.....

With this effort, the new era of the family tradition was reborn, taking up the hard to follow accomplishments from the 19th century when the wines made by Jaume Extrems Doix won Gold and Silver medals in Barcelona and in Paris during the World Fairs in the 1870s.

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The Phylloxera plague dealt a severe blow to the business, but staring the evil bug in the eye, the family was able to quickly replant the vineyards with native rootstock of Garnacha and Carinena.

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The grapes were taken to the Poboleda co-operative and made into wine up until 1999 when the new bodega’s first vintage was released. Currently, the family members, who are all very aware as well as extremely proud of their inheritance, divide their time between vineyard husbandry, winemaking and marketing.

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Mas Doix is still a small and modest bodega, whose philosophy is based on the utmost respect for the region’s winemaking tradition, and whose aim is to transmit the true essence of Priorat via its wines.

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The vineyards are located at 350 to 600 metres above sea-level, unfold at the foot of the sierra del Montsant on steep slopes with poor slate soils (called locally ‘llicorella’) in a region dominated by dry, rigorous microclimates.

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However, their location also benefits from the fresh north-westerly breeze, which lowers temperatures and gives rise to a slower ripening process and, in turn, to a late harvest. Low-yield vines lead to limited production, yet the wines made at the bodega are fresh, balanced and elegant, with the subtle mineral charge typical of DOQ Priorat.

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Valentí Llagostera explains that: “They are distinguished wines, made to be enjoyed, to share with friends and serve as a starting point for good conversation – wines which are an essential part of a certain way of life”.

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The lunch was memorable but the wines were heavenly and never to be forgotten. Got to try the Les Crestes 2009, the Salanques 2006 and the Mas Doix 2008. Each with its own personality, and if they were to be tried separately, without comparing them to each other, all would have superlatives written all over them.

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8 to go!

Catalan Wine 365 and SweetEasy Wine Tours

Cava Hotel Mas Tinell, Bottle of Wine in D.O. Penedes

376/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Penedes – Vilafranca del Penedes – Cava & Hotel Mas Tinell – Gisele 2011

Bottle of Wine……..,

Gisele-webGisele 2011, Xarel.lo and Muscat

Very brilliant, golden yellow with light gold reflections, a really nice color. Medium intensity nose with clean and fresh citrus accents, floral notes, white stone fruit, slightly smoky, nutty and well integrated wood. Very pleasant nose that continues with some tropical fruit such as lychee, banana and pineapple. On the palate, it is unctuous and complex with balanced acidity. Slightly greasy texture that provides good body to the wine. It has a very expressive retronasal finish ennobled by the slight wooden undertones from the barrel aging from one of the varieties, Some of the Xarel.lo wine was fermented in French oak barrels with subsequent battonage. It is complex and evolves by releasing different aromatic tones once opened. It lingers in the mouth, very unctuous, with toasty and spicy hints.

The Bottle…..,

…… people in the bottle, there’s people livin’ in the bottle. Well, maybe not living there but at least visiting for a while and enjoying five star service. Hotels can have many shapes and forms, I know, it used to be my line of work. Many years with boutique hotels in both Europe and Africa, and I still haven’t seen what I saw in Vilafranca del Penedes, people living in a bottle. Marketing ploy or just another expression of Spanish design?

Techo-Hotel-Mas-TinellMany wineries all over Spain have been designed by famous architects but not just for the sake of creating a beautiful building, but also something that works, both environmentally and when it comes to the workability as a winery. In the case of Mas Tinell, it is a two step project. The winery as such has existed for quite some time but the current owners acquired it 1989 and only recently, in 2013 they opened what must be one of the coolest looking hotels in the area!

DSC_0849Have you heard of Mas Tinell in Vilafranca del Penedes? If you have, then you know that it is a unique building. A 5 star hotel remarkable for its peculiar shape, which resembles two rows of bottles of cava put into rhyme. It is a project of the architects Josep Lluís Juanpere and Escamis (GCA Arquitectes ) who won the Gold Medal in the 2011 “Shanghai International Interior Design Festival.

cava-hotel-mastinellAmongst building materials, ceramics highlights a clear identification with the Modernism of Antonio Gaudí, which decorates the roof, achieving an impressive aerial view and in complete harmony with the carpet of vineyards stretching through the Penedes. What’s more, it is also a sustainable building. Visiting a place like this is not only about wine, but also ecotourism and spoiling oneself. The building has cross ventilation, rainwater is reused and it has a biomass boiler.

DSC_0870A good example of sustainable architecture, which in turn respects the environment and the environment in which it is located. The idea of ​​integrating the environment of a building with vines, being that the land surrounding the property is all vineyards and the way that the bottles are stacked during fermentation in rhyme (second fermentation) is what captured my attention the first time I drove past it.

cava-hotel-mastinell-1How would you like to spend a night or two in a bottle? I know I for one, wouldn’t mind that notion at all! There are a total of 11 guest rooms and 1 suit, so it is to be considered a boutique hotel. All rooms are designed in a way so that the guests feel like they are sleeping in a wine bottle.

cava_hotel_mas_tinell_habitacio_0016-1The circular shapes all over are illustrating bubbles.  It is comfortable, spacious and welcoming and the ground floor restaurant serves some amazing courses. A part from the guest rooms and restaurant, there is also a tasting room and a convention center for up to 160 people.

DSC_1002However, it is not only for its exterior shape and its relationship with the environment that makes it unique. As you well may know, it is located in the region of Penedès, an area that enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate ideal for growing grapes. This region is home to approximately 95 % of all Cava elaborated. It is for this reason that the setting of the hotel is one of the best for those who want a true wine tourism experience in situ.

All the rooms are named after grapes. Nice touch! This one is Trepat.

The Mas Tinell is a small winery with a clear Mediterranean spirit, sociable, active, very natural and current, yet respectful and identified with the tradition of the land and has been all these things during their 25 years of existence.

The bubbles are everywhere!

Mas Tinell was founded in 1989 . Its headquarters, surrounded by vineyards and built in traditional architectural style of a Catalan farmhouse, houses modern facilities featuring cutting edge technology to produce white wines, Cava and red wines of exceptional quality and limited production.

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During the visit I was very well received by the young but commited General Manager of the hotel and also got to meet with the wine maker and the winery workers. This is certainly a place I’m going to return to, to enjoy a nice meal with some great wines and to stay a night in the bottle!

9 to go!

Catalan Wine 365 and SweetEasy Wine Tours

La Gravera, If You Can’t Live Without Me, Why Aren’t You Dead Yet? in D.O. Costers del Segre

375/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Costers del Segre – Alfarrás – La Gravera – Onra Moltahonra Blanc 2011

If You Can’t Live Without Me, Why Aren’t You Dead Yet?

onraOnra Moltahonra Blanc 2011, 70% Garnatxa Blanca and 30% Sauvignon Blanc

Brilliant and golden yellow color. Clean nose with heavy aromatic complexity. Some coconut, but mainly I noted white fruit meat, pear and apple. Smoky notes and cedar came along nicely in the background. Slight perfume, or aftershave, or if it was just the guy next to me? With aeration, lemon, pineapple and peach continues to add dimensions to the experience. Good entry, slightly salty. It is filling the mouth with sensations of white fruits, herbs and a buttery feel. Mature, quality, long and fresh finish.

I travel, I visit, I taste and I write for you! I’m your man, not only in Costers del Segre but all over Catalonia. So, any time you have questions, especially regarding wine and wineries in Catalonia but also other questions, you are more than welcome to ask! If you would like me to visit, and write about a particular winery in the vicinity, let me know about it! We now have only 10 days left of 2014! I have been writing consecutively for 355 days and I will finish what I set out to do on January 1st! What happened 2015? I really don’t know, I’m not Nostradamus……, but I will be tasting and drinking wine during the year to come as well. Will I continue writing? Guess we’ll all just have to wait and see!

YOURMAN_NEON-2I’m your man and this time we once more spend our time together in one of the less known wine making regions in Catalonia. Never the less, it is an area of great beauty and some high class wines. The region also hosts the second winery (my first choice is Can Rafols dels Caus) that could be considered for the next James Bond movie or for the next Alien film with Sigurney. Outstanding architecture with well thought through processes for elaboration.

503d950228ba0d7ece00002e_lagravera-sala-ferusic-architects_exterior_nit_1-528x352The project of La Gravera was conceived under low cost criteria, where optimizing energy and material means and resources became important. Economic sustainability is generally linked to environmental sustainability. And it is very evident in this case. An old warehouse from 1958, which belonged to a gravel quarry, has been recovered, revived and transformed it into a vineyard, eliminating industrial elements. SALA Architects FERUSIC was the company contracted to carry out the design and achieved something truly amazing, considering the budget.

503d952028ba0d7ece000030_lagravera-sala-ferusic-architects_moble_2-528x352The building elements are governed by economies of scale and mass production, to minimize their impact on the environment and therefore the economy and organization was done with criteria of spatial, functional and hygrothermal design, in mind. The project was structured in relation to the following points: a cabinet four feet high organizes service spaces, the center of action where human activity is assisted by machines, and Zone 900, a conference room with a carpet of welcome stripes and a bright ceiling, below which the cellar is found, and where the monitoring unit controlling the vineyard in real time is located, and where the design and pedagogy of the wine develops. In conclusion, this low cost approach states one obvious fact, Less (money) Is More!

la-gravera-copiadaThe draft was from the beginning that La Gravera should perform as a small winery where the whole process can be controlled. From the vineyard to the bottle and, all with a highly technical system. Doing small things that may surprise the wine lovers of design. Its aim also goes through a proven commitment to quality and a small production. The range of wines consist of white, pink and red and feature a broth medium-high segment, and 100 % organic wine.

lagravera-winery-by-sala-ferusic-architects-barcelona-02The differential of Celler La Gravera is the fact that this is a very small, very manageable collection, with a number of grape varieties,  a plot of 14 acres with nine different types of grapes. “It allows us to process the cupages with great success ,” says the young winemaker Jordi Viader. The winery is a totally unique personal museum, unique, unusual, no plagiarism or copies. Everything, absolutely everything, is looked at through the prism of surreal design, the encounter with the afterlife, but understandable and functional. It is a winery that deserves architectural design awards.

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We are not only talking technology, but also the passion for winemaking. “My experience in domestic and international markets, traveling the world, making our wines, with proven quality, we are presenting and selling through hotels and restaurants on several continents, with a great acceptance among them,” says Sergi Garcia , CEO of Bodegas Lagravera.

onra_graveraThis very cellar in the D.O. Costers del Segre believe that as a basic premise, it is pertinent to continuously improving the quality of its wines. The slogan that have endorsed the Lleida winery is “wine that comes from the stones .” This is because their vineyards are located on land with lots of stone, basically a gravel pit located in the comarca of Noguera. They are highly mineralized wines. “We aim to give our customers what they want, while we want to be faithful with what they want ,” says Garcia. Lagravera wines are intended for the HoReCa market segment and specialty stores. Current global production is around 50,000 bottles per harvest.

10 to go!

Catalan Wine 365 and SweetEasy Wine Tours

Celler Jaumandreu, Take A Chance On Me in D.O. Pla de Bages

374/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Pla de Bages – Fonollosa – Celler Jaumandreu – Més Que Paraules Negre 2012

Take A Chance On Me……..,

Mes Que ParaulesMés Que Paraules Negre 2012, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Sumoll

Intense dark cherry color with a bright garnet rim and violet reflections. High layers. Very bright and abundant tears. Good intensity with a wide range of aromas: lots of red fruit, somewhat jammy, ripe wild berries and floral fragrances, especially violet stands out. When opened, sweet spices appear together with balsamic and dairy. A touch of resin and thee secondaries reveal cinnamon, bitter cocoa and fresh scent of tobacco. It goes on and on. Elegant mineral background. Good entry, powerful and warm. Tasty, full of fruit, creamy toast and spices. Balanced acidity providing a good freshness. Sweetish and integrated tannins. Long and persistent presence balanced with fruit and toast. This is a killer wine!

More than words…..,

…., ¨mes que paraules¨ in Catalan, is a wine by Jaumandreu. And indeed no words are needed, not only for this wine in particular, but in many instances, for many wines out there. Sometimes it’s just enough to sit there, with a nice glass of wine in hand, listen to a good song and enjoy. More than words!. You don’t have to say you love me, cause I already know. Hold me close, don’t ever let me go!

Jaumandreu is a surname with great tradition within wine making of this region. From the twelfth century, the finca (estate) of Jaumandreu, in the D.O. Pla de Bages, has created history and bottled it with excellent results, even though the history in this case is a brief one. Several different generations of professionals working together in magnificent conditions offered by this land for cultivation of vineyards.

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The estate includes a traditional Catalan farmhouse set in a unique environment, among gentle hills, where silence reigns and you can get lost in knowing that this is, in more ways than one, an unique experience. Sometimes, this is all it takes to fall in love with a region, a winery or a wine.

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The winery was founded in 2004 by a multidisciplinary team of professionals in food, marketing, communication and food production, carrying out a project that has already give its first offshoots, wines being accomplished, reflecting their personality but also aesthetics with a sleek and attractive image that refers to the elements of nature that surrounds the property.

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The Jaumandreu project has, within the Pla de Bages, recovered 60 hectares of vineyards with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and local Picapoll. The philosophy is forward thinking, trying to incorporate the best of what the wine world as a whole has to offer. Authenticity, creativity, passion and working together with a modern mindset in this project, that is Jaumandreu!

S6300227-111 to go!

Catalan Wine 365 and SweetEasy Wine Tours

Masia Barthomeus, The Shadow Of Your Smile in D.O. Penedes

373/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Penedes – El Vendrell – Barthomeus – Barthomeus Rosé 2013

The Shadow Of Your Smile………,

rosat (kopia)Barthomeus Rosé 2013, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Lovely bright red colour with violet trimmings. It has a lively red fruit aroma and forrest berries stand out. Some fresh strawberry, rose and hibiscus aromas that are mirrored on the palate. Pomegranates, red currants and a touch of lychee. A lovely display of aromas. On the palate it is massive and complete. It has a good acidity, astringency and freshness. With its dry finish and balanced acidity, this Rosé is perfectly suited for al fresco dining and lighter fare. Serve chilled, between 11 and 13°C.

1376359_674653149219006_1909150598_nThe masia Barthomeus is currently owned and operated by the family of Llasat, a constellation of three siblings. It was probably acquired by Bartomeu Minguella whose name is still preserved in the historical records of the mansion. Three generations earlier, in 1635, the forefather was Joan Castanyer. He was a farmer and lived in El Vendrell in his ancestral house in the High Street of the town, which is still kept in order and where the original wine cellar has been preserved.

DSC_0022-optim-940x450In 1911 the great grandfather, Joan Recasens Minguella, was one of the founders of the “Cooperativa del Vendrell” and he was the first president of this, in the days, high producing wine cooperative. The father of todays generation, Carles Llasat, followed in his fathers footsteps and fifty years later became the President as well. Now, the three Llasat siblings, with the support of their mother are following the ancestral path and not only are they cultivating the vineyards but also elaborating wines.

CCI14012013_00002optim-940x450Masia Barthomeus has a property of 30 Ha. and is situated between 28 and 50 m. above sea level, in close proximity to the Mediterranean coast and not far from Via Agusta, the ancient Roman trade route of Catalonia. Its surface is covered by vineyards, olive trees and carob trees, Mediterranean forest of Aleppo pines, Kermes Oak and with an important amount of palmetto and some American aloes. All together it is like an island of green in the middle of an urban zone which becomes a fauna refuge fighting the influence of humans.

1074895_1424145954469863_1212772362_oIn 2001 they decided to go against the progressive degradation of the surroundings and with the aim of preserving its biodiversity, they obtained for that an extension of 50 Ha. to be declared REFUGE OF WILD FAUNA, that is to say, a protected natural zone, by the Department of Environment of the Generalitat de Catalunya. In 2012 they slowly began to turn all viticulture into ecological growing, under CCPAE (Catalan Council of Ecological Protection).This culture excludes all sorts of chemical treatment (herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers) which damages the fauna too, in order to keep an ecological balance.

DSC_0062optim-940x450The masia Bartomeu has 15 Ha. of vineyard distributed on 18 parcels of different dimensions. They are distributed in two different zones which are almost equal: one of them looks to the sea somewhat higher than the Sant Salvador shore; the other is situated behind the little hill where the masia stands and looks at the little village of San Vicenç de Calders. The different locations have their own microclimates. The one looking at the sea receives the see-breeze and the other one doesn’t.

Marge-1-580x350There are two different varieties of red grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. This decision was taken many years ago when it was realized that this land had been ground for red grapes. In fact, some of the vineyards of Cabernet Sauvignon are among the oldest in el Baix Penedès because they were planted in 1987 and have adapted themselves extraordinarily well to this place.

Presentacio2_optim1The vineyards were born more than 2000 years ago. As the archaeological remains tell us, the “masia” (farm house) Barthomeus was built by the Iberian people and in the V century they traded with the Greek and Carthaginians and later with the Romans and all of them left their traces here, especially the last ones.

ceramica3-940x450The great quantity of Iberian, Punitian and Roman amphoras coming from these peoples clearly show that the trade of wine had been very important in that little Roman “villae” where the masia Barthomeus now stands. Imagination has no boundaries and I can easily ponder about how the Romans traveled through this landscape and during such journeys needed shelter, a hotel if you wish. They would probably be welcomed at the Barthomeus mansion to spend a night or two and enjoy some wine and dinner. Today, you are able to do the same as the family have built a separate agroturistic house on their land, which is possible to rent. Welcome to my hood!

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Catalan Wine 365 and SweetEasy Wine Tours